Friday, January 5, 2018

Total Skull, December 2017

Things that brought me delight in December, 2017...


Max Gladstone, Three Parts Dead
The pitch is hard to swallow: "It's like a fantasy novel about bureaucracy!" And while a novel about settling the estate and legal obligations of a dead god might not sound like a thrilling ride, somehow it is. This was one of my best surprises of 2017, and I look forward to delving further into Gladstone's Craft Sequence.


Jess and the Ancient Ones, The Horse and Other Weird Tales
Jess and the Ancient Ones has always been a bit more "big voice" than I usually go in for, but this is quality dark psychedelic rock, so we make allowances. Check it out on Bandcamp.

Electric Wizard, Wizard Bloody Wizard
This time out the Wizard is a bit less crushing, and a bit more...rock 'n' roll. Would it be weird if I said an album that had songs titled "Necromania" and "The Reaper" felt like their party album?

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Vol. 1
Much ado was made about the reissue of Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats' obscure first album. And to be honest, it's not my favorite of their records; but, it is interesting to hear them in a somewhat stripped-down presentation, not having quite found their sound.

Anguis Dei, Ad Portas Serpentium
This ep of over-the-top orchestral black metal has whetted my thirst for Anguis Dei's full-length debut. Check it out on Soundcloud.


Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde
Many scholars have noted that Hyde might be functioning as an outlet for Jekyll's closeted homosexual yearnings in Stevenson's novel, but this glorious Hammer production flips the script by assigning those longings to a second self that is gendered "properly" for the expression of the essential self's desires. Watch the trailer here.

The Limehouse Golem
I have a weakness for Victorian era tales of murder, mayhem, and life on the tawdry stage, so The Limehouse Golem was right up my alley. Watch the trailer here.

The Invitation
An ex inviting you to a dinner party where they want to tell you about their "life changing" trip to an exotic locale is already pure nightmare fuel, but this thriller ramps up the tension and keeps you on your toes. Watch the trailer here.

The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro is the modern master of the fairy tale. After seeing The Shape of Water I refuse to listen to any arguments to the contrary. You especially need to see this if you grew up on The Creature from the Black Lagoon and, like I did as a kid, thought the creature got a raw deal. Watch the trailer here.


Tragically misrepresented as a feminist Western, Godless still managed to be an entertaining exercise in Olde Time Brutality in a fairly original setting. Watch the trailer here.